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 Arthur Buck - reviews 
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Arthur Buck
Arthur Buck, New West

Rating: 7

Un fraseggio di mandolino che ricorda un po’ l’intro di Losing My Religion e un po’ quella di Uberlin: ecco come si presenta Peter Buck nel disco/progetto condiviso, nei fatti e nel nome, col cantautore Joseph Arthur. Nemmeno il tempo di posare la chitarra, cambiarle le corde e le pile agli effetti, che l’instancabile ex-R.E.M. è già al lavoro su un nuovo progetto. Nato quasi per caso dai contatti di lungo tempo col cantautore, questo progetto sembra sbilanciato verso lo stile di quest’ultimo e sembra poco un disco del chitarrista per ovvi motivi: la voce e lo stile di Arthur, con la loro esuberanza, e il gusto di comporre per chitarra e batterie elettroniche, si prendono inevitabilmente il centro della scena rispetto agli arrangiamenti e ai ricami di Buck, che pure compone e contribuisce più di quanto sembri – senza che il mix con l’elettronica cara ad Arthur risulti simile ad Up.

La raccolta si presenta piuttosto come un’ispirata collezione di un folk rock talvolta baldanzoso, altre meditativo o amaro: dall’iniziale, notevole I Am The Moment al mid tempo di Are You Electrified?, dal battito quasi jungle di Forever Waiting al minuto scarso nato da un frammento al piano di Buck Summertime, dalle accorate The Wanderer e dalla meno ispirata, conclusiva Can’t Make It Without You alla beffarda American Century, in cui la domanda che i Depeche Mode si ponevano con tono drammatico «Where’s the Revolution?», Arthur se la pone con tono sbruffone.

Scrittura abbastanza ispirata e arrangiamenti deliberatamente caotici mettono un po’ di pepe sulla classica ricetta del tipico disco da cantautore folk rock USA, a rinfrescare la formula cui il miglior Arthur ci ha abituati.

Giulio Pasquali, 25 Giugno 2018

SENTIREASCOLTARE (IT)

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Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:11 pm
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ARTHUR BUCK
Arthur Buck
[ New West / Pias – 2018 ]

Rating: 7

Arthur Buck, un nome per due. Joseph Arthur, che oltre a essere un cantautore di razza è anche artista e pittore, e Peter Buck, storica chitarra degli R.E.M, hanno scelto di chiamarla così la loro prima collaborazione ufficiale. In realtà i due si conoscono da tempo: Joseph Arthur apriva i concerti della band di Athens ad inizio millennio quando era ancora poco conosciuto; Peter Buck ha partecipato a vari progetti paralleli creati da Arthur negli anni. Galeotto, nella nascita di questo disco, è stato il Messico dove Peter Buck organizza un festival (il Todos Santos Music Festival) e l’anno scorso tra gli artisti invitati a suonare c’era appunto Joseph Arthur.

Sono nate in fretta le undici canzoni di “Arthur Buck”, otto in appena tre giorni, il quarto e il quinto giorno Arthur & Buck sono saliti sul palco. Una collaborazione spontanea, in cui non c’è veramente nulla di opportunistico ma solo il piacere di far musica insieme senza aspettative né grandi progetti. Peter Buck imbraccia spesso la chitarra acustica per accompagnare i testi di Joseph Arthur e sembra ben contento di far dal spalla all’amico (e che spalla). “I Am The Moment”, con quegli accordi appena accennati proprio all’inizio del pezzo che strizzano l’occhio a “Losing My Religion”, in altre mani non sarebbe stata altro che una canzone pop invece dopo la cura del duo Arthur & Buck va oltre l’essere semplicemente orecchiabile (anche se non fischiettarla è difficile).

“The Wanderer” sembra un omaggio a Bowie e Peter Buck torna a prendere in mano la chitarra elettrica esibendosi in arpeggi quasi blues mentre “Summertime”, un minuto solo piano e voce, gioca col gospel. Visto il calibro dei personaggi coinvolti non potevano mancare un paio di canzoni politiche. In “American Century” e “Wide Awake In November” però il tema della crisi del sogno americano viene trattato con leggerezza, senza drammatizzare.

Eccola la parola chiave di “Arthur Buck”: leggerezza. Si sente nei testi, nei ritornelli, nella voce di Joseph Arthur soprattutto quando intona quel “Listen stop thinking” in “Forever Falling”. Una leggerezza cercata e voluta, che fa sorridere. Non sarà certo questo il disco che cambierà la carriera di Arthur & Buck ma fa piacere vedere due artisti ormai affermati che hanno ancora la voglia di mettersi in gioco. Vedremo cosa ci regaleranno in futuro, visto che pare siano già al lavoro sull’album numero due.

di Valentina Natale, 25 giugno 2018

Indie For Bunnies (IT)

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Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:19 pm
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Arthur Buck: Arthur Buck

★★★★ (4 stars/5)

Arthur Buck is one of the most enjoyable albums of the year so far.

Former R.E.M. guitar Peter Buck has always had a taste for collaboration, and that taste has anything but diminished since the group’s dissolution in 2011. His latest outing is with prolific multi-instrumentalist Joseph Arthur, perhaps best known (unfairly) for his album of Lou Reed covers, given the body of work he has amassed over more than 20 years as a singer-songwriter. The two alternative rock icons join forces as the aptly named Arthur Buck.

The result is akin to a harmonious marriage—both Arthur and Buck’s musical personalities find expression on the album and allow themselves to be influenced by the other, without thereby sacrificing what makes them distinctive to begin with.

The overall sound of the album falls squarely in the rock vein, both electric and acoustic, though there are also plenty of electronic elements, including keyboards, drum loops and samples of all sorts (which both artists have used before in other projects). Since Arthur handles the vocals, the album ends up sounding like a Joseph Arthur with especially inspired guitar playing—Buck here sounds as vibrant and versatile as ever, handling different styles with effortless aplomb. Arthur, too, turns in as confident a vocal performance as any he has given, using the gravel he has acquired over the years to soulful, charismatic effect on many of this album’s songs.

“The Wanderer” is a groovy song—again, the absence of traditional rock drumming makes the album more eclectic—that features snarling lead guitar from Buck and a very Bowie-inspired vocal breakdown. Arthur really leans into the vocal, giving the lyrics a prophetic ring: “And though your cup keeps overflowing/ With all the things you never did or always done.”

“If You Wake Up in Time” has an even stronger, almost dance-like, synthesized beat, and multi-tracked vocals punctuated by minimalist, syncopated guitar and bass work. The rhythm of the song belies the regret-tinged lyrics: “You’re wrong/ About everything you wanted.” This is in keeping with the album, which is hooky and melodic, but has a darkness to it if you hone in on what the lyrics are actually saying (though this one has some redemption: “Save your life/ If you wake up in time”).

Elsewhere on the album, one finds acoustic guitars and skittering beats on “Forever Waiting,” a brief and rather ghostly one-minute piano interlude on “Summertime” and pure fun on “American Century,” which finds Arthur and Buck at their loosest and unabashedly poppy, replete with squealing synth line. “Wide Awake in November,” features Arthur using his upper register and one of the album’s prettiest choruses, as well as one of the album’s best lines—“I was asleep when they disabled the golden rule.”

In short, Arthur Buck is one of the most enjoyable albums of the year so far. Even for younger listeners who may not be as familiar with these two luminaries, it is the kind of album any rock fan should be grateful for, the kind of two-headed monster one eagerly welcomes.

Dylan Montanari - June 25, 2018

Spectrum Culture (US)

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Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:25 pm
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ARTHUR BUCK – ARTHUR BUCK (2018)

:: NOTA: 6,4

“E ASSIM NASCE MAIS UMA REUNIÃO ENTRE GRANDES MÚSICOS”

Depois do término do R.E.M. algo indicava que os talentosos membros da banda não iriam parar com o mundo da música, Peter Buck, por exemplo. O guitarrista do finado grupo de Athens se junta ao cantor e compositor Joseph Arthur (ex-Fistful Of Mercy e RNDM*), unindo os sobrenomes e dando vida ao projeto Arthur Buck. Peter sempre foi uma figura calada ao lado de Stipe e companhia, o seu exercício maior era a guitarra (que assim como Johnny Marr do The Smiths, foi responsável em parte pela história de sucesso de sua banda). Exímio na guitarra, capaz de ora criar dedilhados marcantes ora potencializar o instrumento em toda sua agressividade, Peter cumpre seu papel sem novidades ao lado de Joseph Arthur (que também toca guitarra). As onze faixas do álbum se utilizam em parte da sonoridade 70’s (muito de Glam Rock) chegando também ao indie-rock 90’s. Algumas canções do álbum refletem bem a sonoridade das ex-bandas da dupla. Os saudosistas podem sentir uma vibração bem R.E.M., sobretudo em canções como “I Am The Moment” e “Are You Electrified?”. O duo opta pelo formato tradicional do rock: guitarra, baixo, bateria, refrões grudentos, muito pouco de eletrônico (vozes com eco, sintetizador bem discreto). O disco tem um impacto maior na primeira metade, entretanto, lá para o final, perde um pouco sua energia e acaba passando uma ideia de cansaço. O ritmo diminui, a dupla poderia ter ousado mais, quem sabe colocando alguns instrumentos adicionais como sopros e violinos.

*Observação: A banda RNDM também tem como um dos integrantes o baixista Jeff Ament da banda Pearl Jam.

Eduardo Salvalaio, 25/06/2018

Urge! (BR)

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Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:11 pm
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RECENSIE ARTHUR BUCK

Arthur Buck: Arthur Buck. New West/PIAS.

3 sterren(/5).

Arthur Buck is in een paar dagen opgenomen en zo klinkt het ook

Anders dan de naam doet vermoeden is Arthur Buck een duo. Singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur en gewezen R.E.M.-gitarist Peter Buck slaan op dit album de handen ineen en dat pakt behoorlijk goed uit.

Joseph Arthur maakt al jaren best sympathieke, maar ook wat saai klinkende platen, die wel wat versiering konden gebruiken.

Hij heeft hier aan Peter Buck, die met verfijnde gitaarpartijen vaak precies de juiste accenten zet, een goeie.

Mooi ook als Buck af en toe, heel ver op de achtergrond, even zijn hoge tweede stem opzet, zoals hij dat ook in R.E.M. zo vaak deed. Het lijkt alsof Arthur, toch al behept met een mooi donkere bariton, er nog beter door gaat zingen.

Alleen zou je toch willen dat de ­heren iets langer aan de composities hadden gewerkt. Het album is in een paar dagen opgenomen en zo klinkt het ook. Het duo lijkt vaak net iets te snel tevreden. Een mooie, prettig draaibare liedjesplaat had met iets meer zorg en aandacht een prachtplaat ­kunnen zijn.

Gijsbert Kamer, 28 juni 2018

de Volkskrant (NL)

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Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:18 pm
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Arthur Buck : 20 ans de relation en un album

★★★ (3 stars/5)

Résumé : Spontanéité, tel aura été le mot d’ordre des opérations, et celle-ci transpire tout au long de l’album, avec son corollaire presque logique : une absence de direction globale (...).

Avec cet album éponyme, Joseph Arthur et Peter Buck partent en goguette et sans chichis…

Le troubadour touche-à-tout et l’ancien guitariste de REM ont beau se fréquenter depuis près de 20 ans et jammer ensemble à l’occasion, il ne leur était jamais venu l’idée de concrétiser ça de manière plus, hum, concrète. Une jam un peu plus longue que d’ordinaire dans la villégiature mexicaine du second nommé en aura décidé autrement, donnant elle-même naissance à huit chansons improvisées, devenues onze une fois poussée la porte d’u studio d’enregistrement.

Spontanéité, tel aura été le mot d’ordre des opérations, et celle-ci transpire tout au long de l’album, avec son corollaire presque logique : une absence de direction globale, pas davantage d’affiliation stylistique prononcée, ni vraiment rock indé US ni pop, ni autre chose.
Juste deux potes qui s’amusent, avec quelques belles passes d’armes guitare en main. Et c’est très bien comme ça…

Xavier Bonnet, 01/07/2018

Rolling Stone (FR)

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Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:23 pm
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ARTHUR BUCK – ARTHUR BUCK

Rating: 7.8

Back in the days of R.E.M., one of their own favorite artists was Joseph Arthur, such as singer Michael Stipe covering his “In the Sun” for a Katrina benefit and showing up at his art gallery show (QRO live review). Post-R.E.M., guitarist Peter Buck has been very busy, from his Todos Santos Music Festival on the tip of Baja California to solo work and The Baseball Project (QRO spotlight on) with other musicians. So it’s no real surprise that Arthur and Buck have teamed up, as ‘Arthur Buck,’ with a self-titled record that does lean more Arthur than Buck, but still holds up.

With Arthur singing, Arthur Buck tips towards his styles, including more electronic effects like the indie-shuffle open “I Am the Moment” and the fuzzed dance about today’s America, “American Century”. It also has, yes, political moments, such as the somewhat obvious lyrics to “Century”, but also the brighter look to next Election Day in “Wide Awake In November”. If Arthur can be a little overt, these are overt times. And it doesn’t dominate the album, which also has a strong, smooth push in “Are You Electrified?” to the resigned goodbye “Before Your Love Is Gone”.

Team-ups of already famous musicians can be a risky proposal, potentially too many cooks in the kitchen, and feeling like a side-project that’ll be forgotten when they get back to their day jobs. But Arthur Buck comes across as fully formed work from two fully formed artists.

Ted Chase - July 6, 2018

QRO (US/UK)

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Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:39 pm
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Arthur Buck, Arthur Buck (New West Records)

Former REM guitarist Peter Buck assembled a stunning pop group for last year’s Filthy Friends album, but much of his solo output has been loose and lazy. Fortunately, Peter Gabriel associate Joseph Arthur has now paired up with Buck for a duo album as powerful as his filthy friends. Songs like “American Century” are explicitly political, but all 11 tracks are power-pop classics that would make Michael Stipe proud.

by Loring Wirbel - July 06, 2018

Colorado Springs Independent (US)

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Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:41 pm
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Arthur Buck
(New West/Border)

Betyg: 3

Välkommet avbrott i utbudet
”Ändå ett välkommet avbrott i utbudet från all världens hit-fabriker.”


-----

Singer-songwritern Joseph Arthur och R.E.M.-gitarristen Peter Buck möttes på en festival i Mexico, bestämde sig för att starta ett band och skrev åtta låtar på tre dagar till debutalbumet.

Men resultatet är inte hafsigt som man skulle kunna förledas att tro. Här ligger sånginsatserna prydligt tillrätta, och är det inte såväl bongotrummor som tamburin i kompet; det har väl inte hörts se’n Stones Sympathy for the devils, känns det som.

Elektroniken lyser med sin frånvaro, vilket gör att alltihop har en påtagligt omodern känsla, men det småskramliga soundet – och sitaren! – är ändå ett välkommet avbrott i utbudet från all världens hit-fabriker.

Björn Stefanson, 15 juni 2018

Värmlands Folkblad (SE)

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Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:53 pm
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Positieve energie van Joseph Arthur en Peter Buck

RECENSIE | Solo-artiest Joseph Arthur en voormalig R.E.M.-gitarist Peter Buck kennen elkaar al bijna twintig jaar, van toen de eerste nog in het voorprogramma van deze grote Amerikaanse band speelde.

Dat de twee nu als duo een plaat uitbrengen, is de uitkomst van een visite van Arthur aan Buck in Mexico eind vorig jaar.

Album uit de losse pols

Binnen drie dagen schreven de heren acht songs en op de vierde dag voerden ze die live uit voor een handjevol Mexicaanse buren van Buck. Die verfrissende spontaniteit namen ze mee naar de studio waar ze het uit de losse pols geboren werk afmaakten. Tezamen met de muzikale ervaring van het tweetal is dat wat Arthur Buck maakt tot de onderhoudende plaat die ze is.

Ouderwets goede rockplaat

Een groot deel van de liedjes ademt in klank de geest van David Bowie, alsof je onontdekt werk van Lodger of The Next Day hoort. Alleen het sonore stemgeluid van Arthur helpt je uit de droom.

Voor de rest is het album, vanaf de opgewekte opener I am the moment tot de verheven akoestische afsluiter Can’t make it without you gewoon een goede rockplaat. Eentje die teruggrijpt op het verleden, maar nergens gedateerd aandoet en die door z’n menselijke thematiek dichtbij komt.

John de Bruin, 04-07-18

De Gelderlander (NL)

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Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:58 pm
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ARTHUR BUCK
JOSEPH ARTHUR AND PETER BUCK
New West

Joseph Arthur and Peter Buck Face the World Staring Straight Forward on 'Arthur Buck'

Peter Buck's generosity and willingness to gig with just about anyone anywhere is legendary and has long been the subject of lighthearted humor (as in "Last Thursday, Pete Buck sat in with the Decemberists at the Tin Dog Festival before jumping over to the other side of town to guest onstage with Billy Bragg at a farm to table co-op fundraiser, but all that happened after he had dropped in unexpectedly on Miss Higginbottom's chorus recital at the Woodrow Wilson Middle School for an impromptu version of 'Waiting for the Man'."). If you find that joke funny, you've been a fan for a while; if you find it believable, you've probably seen Buck jump onstage somewhere for an unexpected sit in. Arthur Buck couldn't exist if there wasn't some small grain of truth to the joke and is the result of some previous collaborations, coincidence, and just plain good timing.

Joseph Arthur, an equally inexhaustible performer who has gained a strong following based on his exhilarating live shows and heavy touring schedule, has released 14 albums since catching the attention of Peter Gabriel and being signed to his Real World label in 1997. It would seem an inevitability that Arthur and Buck would cross paths and find mutual regard and that is pretty much what has happened over the years, as Arthur opened for R.E.M. on multiple occasions and they memorably performed "Walk on the Wild Side" along with Mike Mills on the David Letterman Show in support of Arthur's tribute album Lou. On this go-round, Arthur's performance at Buck's annual Los Todos Santos Music Festival along with a forgotten dobro guitar initiated a spontaneous creative partnership and high-speed recording session. The result is an excellent summertime garage-pop record with an edge.

A theme of displacement threads through these dark pop songs reflecting the uncertainty of the present times. The song's subjects are perpetually searching for some missing component of their lives or the world at large. As in the wonderful, seductive album opener, "I Am the Moment", where we encounter a call to action disguised as a typical romantic come on of a pop song: "I'll give you a hand," Arthur sings, "You're not wrong to always want to expand / Or to find a kind of spiritual plan / To go beyond space and time and escape this predicament." The chorus of "I am the moment waiting for you" is an invitation to seize the moment and take action. There are numerous such calls and declarations throughout Arthur Buck. The Nine Inch Nails-inspired "If You Wake Up in Time" features Arthur berating the listener that "you're wrong about everything you wanted", while Buck's discomfiting growl of "save your life... if you wake up in time" offers a slap-in-the-face chorus.

These are songs written at a time of the political blurring into the personal, of broad social disruption bleeding into personal spiritual crisis. The Mexicali-inflected "Forever Waiting" mingles its uplift with lines like "Don't you know your gods are changing? / You don't have anyone at all." The brief, unsettling "Summertime" consists of two simple, repeated lines: "Everybody likes to think they're holding on/ And yet they're running out of chances." "American Century" encapsulates our cultural greed by evoking John F. Kennedy's most famous lines: "Used to be about what you can do / Now it's about what you can get." And "Forever Falling", one of the album's numerous high points, confronts our collective dark mood when Arthur sings "I love the way you lost / Because I love the way you run." Recorded before the high-profile suicides of Kate Nash and Antony Bourdain, the song nonetheless addresses the increasingly infectious disease of depression with the lines "I don't even want to act like everything is fine / Every morning I just thank the Lord that I'm still alive." This is a love song for broken people who still have pieces left to build upon (and we all do, no matter how broken).

This is not, though, a downer of a record. Quite the opposite: throughout, the music on Arthur Buck is upbeat and eclectic, even playful, offering a contrast to the lyrics. One might say that Arthur and Buck's spirited playing and programming make the medicine go down smoother. If one lyrical consistency is anxiety, another is perseverance and finding joy in existence. Album closer "Can't Make It Without You" might be the album's greatest track, an uplifting appreciation of partnership and commitment, of facing the world staring straight forward while in the company of a great friend or lover. The regard Arthur and Buck clearly have for each other shows through on every track of this unexpected pleasure.

By Ed Whitelock - 09 Jul 2018

Popmatters (US)

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Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:31 pm
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Arthur Buck
Arthur Buck
[New West/ Self 2018]

File Under: synth rock

Spalla contro spalla, due amici, due musicisti che si stimano da tempo e che hanno spesso incrociato i loro destini artistici. Potenzialmente una delle collaborazioni più interessanti per chi guarda ancora con affetto a quella intensa generazione nata negli anni del post punk (Peter Buck) e a quei songwriter che ne hanno traghettato il linguaggio nel nuovo millennio (Joseph Arthur). Arthur Buck e le sue undici lunatiche canzoni è l'esito di questo incontro, esordio in casa New West di cui non possiamo prevedere un seguito, vista l'inclinazione sempre un po' ondivaga degli stessi protagonisti.

Allo stato delle cose resta un'occasione mancata, una confusa fotografia di suoni che al fondo appare più come un disco di Joseph Arthur, quello più attento alle pulsioni rock e alle loro contaminazioni elettroniche, e meno un'invenzione di Peter Buck, che sorregge i brani con i suoi spunti chitarristici, lascia certamente un'impronta sonora eppure si trattiene dagli arrangiamenti e dalla produzione, guarda caso firmata dal solo Arthur. L'idea nasce in Messico, sulla spiaggia di Todos Santos, dove da diversi anni Buck ha una seconda casa, un luogo in cui rifugiarsi. La chiamata all'amico Joseph Arthur arriva quasi per caso, un fine settimana per rilassarsi nelle acque dell'oceano. Diventano quattro giorni di canzoni condivise, riff di chitarra da scambiarsi e dai quali scaturiscono otto nuove composizioni, poi completate nei Type Foundry Studios di Portland, soltanto i due protagonisti a maneggiare ogni cosa. Arthur prende il timone della parte ritmica, "imbratta" i brani di percussioni, loop, sintetizzatori, mentre Buck arrotonda e abbellisce fra acustiche ed elettriche.

Le vibrazioni sono positive, a cominciare dall'apripistra I Am the Moment, liriche pungenti e brillanti come ci si aspetterebbe da entrambi i musistici (e soprattutto da Joseph Arthur), che sembrano cercare uno spiraglio di luce in un mondo alla deriva (il primo singolo Are You Electrified?), ma allo stesso tempo una musica che aggiunge strati su strati di melodie pop e intrecci rock sintetici senza trovare il bandolo della matassa. Tutto già sentito (e meglio) nei dischi solisti di Arthur, canzoni che catturano per un istante, perdendosi il secondo dopo, senza lasciare l'impressione di una vera epifania fra i due amici. Spiccano comunque le ballate, i ritmi più rallentati e un po' psichedelici di The Wanderer e della conclusiva Can't Make It Without You, quelli dilatati e un poco impalpabili della breve Summertime, o ancora Forever Falling e le venature sixties di Wide Awake In November; si dissolvono senza grandi sussulti invece le fredde pulsazioni elettroniche di If You Wake Up In Time e Before Your Love Is Gone, o la caotica e politica messinscena di American Century.

Spontanea fino ad un certo punto, la collaborazione sorta fra Peter Buck e Joseph Arthur richiedeva forse una veste sonora più contenuta per fare emergere davvero la natura di questi brani.

di Fabio Cerbone (09/07/2018)

RootsHighway (IT)

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:59 pm
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ARTHUR BUCK: ARTHUR BUCK

Rating: 6.5/10

In the fall of 2017, singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur and R.E.M. lead guitarist Peter Buck joined forces in Mexico to collaboratively write and record eleven rock/pop songs for a self-titled album predictably titled Arthur Buck. With Arthur providing the vocals and Buck providing the lead guitar work, the results are a slickly produced collection of tracks whose lyrics focus largely on the current political climate in the United States without being so obvious as to make these recordings irrelevant ten years from now.

The album opens with Buck’s signature lead before synthetic-sounding percussion and subtle samples play around spritely strummed guitars and Joseph Arthur’s vocals. “I Am The Moment” makes for a solid start with lovely female backing “ahs” during the track’s choruses and Arthur singing lines like, “Take your time, there is no need for you to rewind, or put a rope around the neck in your mind.” Many of the albums’ lyrics deal with spirituality and opening your third eye as if Arthur Buck are continually reminding listeners the importance of staying woke and utilizing thoughtful positivity and self-reflection to bring about enlightenment.

“Are You Electrified?” features some excellent lead guitar work and provides a firm kick into overdrive on the powerful choruses with both men digging deep to deliver the goods. The minute-long plaintive “Summertime” offers a midpoint ear-reset before the excellent sociopolitical banger “American Century” arrives. “Someone took American century, someone took American dreams, someone took American century, where’s the revolution in the streets?” Arthur asks during the track’s catchy, infectiously danceable chorus.

Joseph Arthur’s vocals are featured on every song and his singing voice ranges everywhere from a gentle croon to a low, monotonous growl that’s at times only slightly smoother and more melodic than Marilyn Manson’s. It’s safe to say if you’re not a fan of Joseph Arthur’s singing and you aren’t consistently bowled over by Peter Buck’s guitar playing, this record may wear out its welcome after only a few songs. If, however, you’re a fan of both Joseph Arthur and Peter Buck, this album does offer some fine standout moments.

By Andy Mascola / 07.10.2018

Surviving the Golden Age / StGA (US)

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:07 pm
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Bentley's Bandstand: July 2018

Joseph Arthur & Peter Buck, Arthur Buck.

Rock and roll needs rebels like Saturn needs rings. It's how things are supposed to be, even though it often feels like those willing to risk it all in music are a withering breed. Not Joseph Arthur and Peter Buck. Arthur has made an undeniable catalog of stellar albums, while Buck, besides fueling the propulsion of R.E.M. all those years is still veering into the weeds whenever the spirit takes him. Together, this pair is unstoppable. Their first album as a duo is the kind of rock that isn't created often enough. Starting from scratch, they wrote eleven songs, then went into the studio and played all the instruments themselves. It arrives like a high-wire act where those up top don't look down. At this stage, neither has anything to lose by expressing their full-on passion and have made one of the best albums of the year. Arthur lives in the ozone as often as not, and has made a powerful peace with it. Buck is more centered, but never fails to risk it all to make sure the music delivers all it can. There isn't a band quite like this these days, even if it's only a two-member affair, and have staked out a singular approach to how to move rock and roll forward. Chances are good a certain measure of mayhem will accompany their live shows, and more power to them. In a world veering toward uncertainty, it's time to let the unpredictable come in and shake a tail feather to ask the only question that matters. Are you electrified?

By Bill Bentley - July 10, 2018

TMR / The Morton Report (US)

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:35 pm
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